April 13-20: EWU Pursuit of Happiness Week

Can you measure happiness? John de Graaf, co-founder and senior partner of The Happiness Initiative, plus professor Barbara Brock and the EWU Happiness Committee think so!

The Pursuit of Happiness Week is about to begin, and staff, faculty, students and the greater Cheney Community are encouraged to get on board to not only explore what really makes us happy but to also generate data to assist in policy change. President Arévalo signed the official EWU Campus Happiness Initiative proclamation and the entire Cheney School District has embraced the concept so now it’s time to spread the news.

The committee also hopes that faculty will find a meaningful way to integrate the ten domains of happiness into lectures and will make the 15-minute, online Happiness Survey an extra credit project for students. The topic is appropriate to a variety of disciplines with tangible discussion material.

The week of April 13-20 will introduce fun and educational events open to everyone. The easiest way to find out what’s happening is to “like” the EWU Happiness site on Facebook and watch for the launch of the EWU Happycounts Scavenger Hunt. You will also find the Happy Travels Cart manned by EWU Recreation Students at various sites on campus throughout the week – providing free advice, games, trivia, buttons, stickers, bookmarks, scavenger hunt hints and occasional drawings for cool books and items related to happiness. Just look for the giant yellow Happycounts Balloons! Each day has a theme – Stress Awareness, Cultural Vitality, Social Vitality, Compassion and Connectedness, etc., and activities range from mini-lectures by experts on happiness and compassion to 25 non-profits showcasing meaningful work to dance club performances to hands on stress relief activities.

The goal of the weeklong event is to promote the Happiness Survey, which is the first comprehensive survey in the region to take the initiative to measure the level of happiness within the Cheney and EWU communities. Anyone may take the survey on Facebook, or the happycounts.org website by clicking on the blue survey button. When asked for a referral code, simply enter either: ewustudent2013, ewufaculty2013, ewustaff2013 or ewucommunity2013.

After taking the 15-minute survey, you will receive an immediate evaluation of personal well being for each of the ten domains of happiness that have been identified by international researchers.

The focus of the Pursuit of Happiness Week is to look at the ten domains of happiness: psychological well being; physical health; time balance; work experience, education; cultural vitality and access; social connection; good government; environmental quality and access to nature; and material well being.

Each day we will be having an activity that emphasizes at least one of the contributors of happiness and gives every person the opportunity to learn hands-on strategies to change each component for better happiness. A complete list of activities and events for the Pursuit of Happiness Week can be found on the EWU Happiness Initiative Facebook page beginning a week prior to the start of events.

“We’re thrilled to take the lead in this exciting project and have all kinds of events planned for International Pursuit of Happiness Day April 13 through Earth Day on April 20,” said professor Brock, EWU happiness director. “This is the first project in the U.S. using objective and subjective indicators of well being to provide a truly powerful look at how well we are doing in all areas of life. We hope the project and events of the week lead to positive action for greater happiness, social justice, and both economic and environmental health.”

Contact Barb Brock for more information: 509.359.6040 or bbrock@ewu.edu.